Best Mashed Potatoes

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These herb-infused garlic mashed potatoes are the best mashed potatoes you will ever eat. They are creamy, fluffy buttery and so insanely delicious you will never make another mashed potatoes recipe again. Plus they’re easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time!

Overhead view of mashed potatoes in a bowl topped with fresh herbs


Ritch and I went on a date and ordered mashed potatoes with our dinner. Something we wouldn’t normally do (we’re total fries people), but I am so glad that we did. Because those life-changing spuds were the absolute best we’d ever had, and I set out to recreate them ASAP. 

After many tests, I created this recipe for the best mashed potatoes ever.  They are infused with herbs, loaded with garlic and so creamy and fluffy they are irresistible. Plus they are easy to make, and can be prepared ahead of time and reheated on special holidays (like Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.). The leftovers also make great potato pancakes!

This mashed potatoes recipe is truly special. The potatoes are boiled, along with fresh herbs, riced and combined with toasted garlic, butter, & chives (among other ingredients). Let’s dive in and chat about how to make mashed potatoes! You can also try these slightly easier cream cheese mashed potatoes.

Overhead view of mashed potatoes in a bowl topped with fresh herbs

Herb Mashed Potatoes Recipe: Ingredients & Substituions 

Now that we have discussed how to make mashed potatoes, let’s chat about the ingredients in this mashed potatoes recipe and possible substitutions. 

overhead view of the ingredients in this mashed potatoes recipe
  • Potatoes. I recommend using Yukon gold potatoes and russet potatoes for the best flavor and texture. 
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, chives, sage, parsley). I have included our favorite combination of fresh herbs for the best flavor, feel free to add your favorites to make this mashed potatoes recipe your own. 
  • Salted butter. I don’t recommend substituting anything for the butter. It is a critical ingredient for the taste and texture of these creamy mashed potatoes. 
  • Minced garlic. Freshly roasted and mashed garlic can be used in place of minced garlic. You can even try adding garlic powder instead (with the salt and pepper) if you don’t have any other options. 
  • Half and half/Whole milk. You need about 1 ¼ cups of liquid. I have included the ratio of half and half to whole milk that I have found produces the best end product. Remember, fat means creamy mashed potatoes. So I do not recommend using 1% or skim milk in this recipe. You could use cream and 2% milk, if desired.
  •  Sea Salt. I recommend using pure, fine sea salt. If using table salt (iodized) you may need to reduce the amount. 
  • Fresh Chives. The addition of fresh chives takes these mashed potatoes from good to great. Sure, you can leave them out and still end up with amazing spuds, but I recommend using them!
Overhead view of mashed potatoes in a bowl topped with fresh herbs

How to make mashed potatoes

The method to this mashed potatoes recipe is important, so follow along as I walk through the process step-by-step. Don’t forget to watch the video as well. 

Peel & Cut Potatoes

For fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes you will need to remove the potato skins. Use a potato peeler to peel the potatoes, then cut them into quarters. Remember, the size of the potatoes will determine how long they take to be fully cooked in the boiling water. Smaller pieces will cook faster, and visa versa. 

overhead photo of cut and peeled mashed potatoes

Boil potatoes & herbs

I wanted to create herb-infused spuds using fresh herbs, without adding hard-to-chew herbs (like rosemary and sage leaves) to the final product. To do this I experimented with boiling the potatoes with sprigs of our favorite fresh herbs: rosemary, chives, parsley, and sage, and the result was amazing. 

The herbs impart just the right amount of flavor to the potatoes which really makes this the best mashed potatoes recipe ever! To begin, add all the ingredients to a large stockpot, then fill it with cold water to cover the potatoes by 1″. Then cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. 

photo showing how to boil potatoes for mashed potatoes

Once boiling, uncover the pot and boil until the potatoes are cooked and fork-tender, which takes 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the potato chunks.  They are done when they fall apart when touched with a fork.

overhead photo showing how to make mashed potatoes - potatoes and herbs boiling in a pot

Rice the potatoes

Drain potatoes and remove herb sprigs. Put the potato pieces through a potato ricer, and rice them into a medium bowl. 

People often ask if this step can be skipped, and the answer is NO, and yes. No if you want the fluffiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever had. Yes if you’re ok with a denser, thicker (but still soft and creamy) end result. If you don’t rice the potatoes, you will need to use a potato masher and mash them into the butter/garlic after sautéing later in the recipe. 

photo showing how to rice potatoes to make fluffy mashed potatoes

Cook butter & Garlic

After you have riced the potatoes, melt the butter with the garlic in a large stockpot. Cook garlic for 1 minute after the butter has melted to give it a nice toasty flavor. 

photo showing how to make mashed potatoes - cooking butter and garlic

Add potatoes, room temperature milk & cream

Next, add riced potatoes to the butter and garlic and stir to combine. If you didn’t rice the potatoes, then this is when you would add the potato pieces to the butter/garlic and use a potato masher to mash them. 

Add whole milk and half and half and stir to combine. Be sure the milk and cream are room temperature. Adding cold ingredients to the warm potato mixture could result in an unappetizing final texture. 

two photos showing how to make mashed potatoes adding milk and potatoes

Add chives, salt & pepper

Add chopped chives, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly distributed. Taste test the mashed potatoes at this point and adjust the seasonings to your liking. 

To make ahead:

I always make these mashed potatoes the day before a big holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.), just like this sausage stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce.  I simply follow the recipe then put them into a small dutch oven or baking dish with an oven-safe lid and store them in the refrigerator overnight. 

On the day you’d like to serve them, remove them from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the mashed potatoes and put them in the preheated oven until they are warmed through. You may need to add a touch extra liquid to the mashed potatoes if they dry out a little. I also like melting some butter on top as they warm up for presentation and taste! 

two photos showing how to make mashed potatoes - adding chives

FAQs about How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Here are my answers to some of the most-asked questions about making this mashed potatoes recipe. 

What are the best potatoes for mashed potatoes?

My personal preference for mashed potatoes is Yukon Gold potatoes (used in this recipe). They are soft and buttery and oh-so-delicious! After Yukons, I’d recommend russet potatoes! 

Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time and reheat?

YES! As discussed above, I always make these mashed potatoes the day before a big holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) I simply follow the recipe then put them into a small dutch oven or baking dish with an oven-safe lid, then store them in the refrigerator overnight.

How do you warm up mashed potatoes?

To reheat: remove the mashed potatoes from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the mashed potatoes in the oven, covered, until they are warmed through. You may need to add a little extra liquid to the mashed potatoes if they dry out a little.

How far ahead can you make mashed potatoes?

I recommend making these one day prior to serving, but no more, for the best taste, texture and freshness. 

Why are my mashed potatoes gluey?

Gluey mashed potatoes are the worst, and once they go gluey there is no going back. Here are ways to avoid gluey mashed potatoes:
Do NOT over-work the cooked potatoes: Absolutely do NOT use a food processor to mash your potatoes. You want to handle them as little as possible, which is why I recommend ricing the potatoes to achieve a fluffy texture and avoid over-mashing. D
Use starchy potatoes. Stick to using Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes for the best fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes. 
Use cold water. Fill the pot with with cold water and then bring it to a boil. This will ensure even cooking. 
Use room temperature milk and cream. Adding cold liquid to the warm potatoes/butter/garlic in the saucepan will change the texture. 

How do you freeze mashed potatoes?

Transfer cooled mashed potatoes to a freezer-friendly, airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Overhead view of mashed potatoes in a bowl topped with fresh herbs

What to serve with mashed potatoes

We love to serve these herb mashed potatoes on holidays along with some of our favorite sides and main dishes:

Overhead view of mashed potatoes in a bowl topped with fresh herbs

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Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Laura
These herb-infused garlic mashed potatoes are the best mashed potatoes you will ever eat. They are creamy, fluffy buttery and so insanely delicious you will never make another mashed potatoes recipe again. Plus they're easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time!
5 from 13 votes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 206.3
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes

Ingredients 
 

To cook the potatoes:

  • 4 lbs. potatoes * peeled and cut in halves or fourths
  • cold water
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 4 TBS parsley
  • 8 sprigs chives

Mashed potatoes:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 TBS TBS garlic
  • ¾ cup half and half room temperature (6 oz)
  • ½ cup whole milk room temperature (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper or to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped chives

Instructions 

  • Place peeled & cut potatoes and herbs into a large stockpot.
  • Add cold water to the pot until the ingredients are covered by ½” water.
  • Cover the pot and bring water to a boil.
  • Once boiling, uncover and boil until the potatoes are cooked and fork-tender (about 25-35 minutes). They are done when they fall apart when touched with a fork.
  • Drain potatoes and remove herb sprigs.
  • Put potato pieces through a potato ricer, and rice them into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Add garlic and butter to a large stockpot. Melt butter and sauté garlic for 1 minute.
  • Add riced potatoes to the butter and garlic and stir to combine.
  • Add whole milk and half and half and stir to combine.
  • Add chopped chives, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly distributed.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  • Serve warm.

Video

Notes

*I recommend using Yukon gold potatoes and russet potatoes for the best flavor and texture.

Tip: 

Cutting the potatoes into smaller pieces will help them boil/cook faster.

To make ahead:

I always make these mashed potatoes the day before a big holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) I simply follow the recipe then put them into a small dutch oven or baking dish with an oven-safe lid. Store them in the refrigerator overnight. On the day you’d like to serve them, remove them from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the mashed potatoes in the oven, covered, until they are warmed through. You may need to add a touch extra liquid to the mashed potatoes if they dry out a little. I also like melting some butter on top as they warm up for presentation and taste!

Ingredient substitutions

  • Potatoes. I recommend using Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes for the best flavor and texture. 
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, chives, sage, parsley). I have included our favorite combination of fresh herbs for the best flavor, you can use your favorites to make this mashed potatoes recipe your own. 
  • Salted butter. Unsalted butter works well in this recipe.
  • Minced garlic. Freshly roasted and mashed garlic can be used in place of minced garlic. You can even try adding garlic powder instead (with the salt and pepper) if you don’t have any other options. 
  • Half and half/Whole milk. You need about 1 ¼ cups of liquid. I have included the ratio of half and half to whole milk that I have found produces the best end product. Remember, fat means creamy mashed potatoes. So I do not recommend using 1% or skim milk in this recipe. You could use cream and 2% milk, if desired. 
  • Fresh Chives. The addition of fresh chives takes these mashed potatoes from good to great. Sure, you can leave them out and still end up with amazing spuds, but I recommend using them!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 206.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.4g | Protein: 3.8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 242.2mg | Potassium: 643mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2.1g | Vitamin A: 6.1IU | Vitamin C: 45.4mg | Calcium: 5.2mg | Iron: 6.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

Photo credit: Dishing out Health!

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made these to serve on thanksgiving tomorrow. The flavor and aroma are amazing! I purchased a ricer just for this recipe and so glad I did. The texture is amazing! I can’t wait to serve them! I roasted my garlic in the air fryer and that was a game changer for speed and added flavor! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It’s going in my thanksgiving food bible for sure!!

    1. Thank you so much Candi! I love the suggestion to roast the garlic first – genius! I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!

  2. 5 stars
    I love mashed potatoes. However, at Cafe Marly at the Louvre and Bistro Olivier I was able to extra their secret recipes for perfect mashed potatoes. When whipping the potatoes add a bit of olive oil. Perfection! James

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so so very much for sharing this recipe! It is the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had in my entire life!! They were absolutely amazing with braised pork shoulder!!
    Sincerely, Zane

  4. 5 stars
    By far the best mashed potato I’ve ever made. Its so FLUFFY, CREAMY AND PACKED WITH FLAVOURS AND AROMA.
    My friend just cant stop eating it!! The infused flavour of garlic is a game changer, would definitely keep this recipe in my kitchen!!!